PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The last U.S. Air Force evacuation flight from Kabul Monday marked the end of a frantic effort to get Americans, Afghans and others out of Afghanistan to escape the Taliban’s return to power. Several flights of evacuees from Afghanistan are arriving Monday at Philadelphia International Airport.
Once the evacuees land in Philly, they’re offered food, clothes, and even COVID testing and a vaccine. All of that happens inside a closed-off part of the airport.READ MORE: 'Most Egregious Story I've Ever Heard': Local Man Has Prostate Removed After Mistaken Cancer Diagnosis
A C-17 military plane is one of six landing at Philadelphia International Airport Monday, flying nearly 11,000 miles from Kabul, Afghanistan and carrying desperate evacuees inside.
“The mission of the evacuation operation was to help as many people as possible leave Afghanistan,” said Major General William Taylor with the Department of Defense.
Among those arriving at PHL are members of Zubair Niaz’s family, like his cousin seen in the left of the below photo.
“To me, it means the whole world,” Niaz said.
But he says his uncle, seen on the right of the above photo, was shot and killed by the Taliban two weeks ago.READ MORE: One Of Last Marines To Leave Afghanistan Returns Home To Hero's Welcome In Ridley Township
“My whole family was under threat. We were trying our best to get them out,” Niaz said.
Niaz himself came to America after fleeing Afghanistan five years ago and says his family will live with him.
Organizations like the Nationalities Service Center in Center City help refugees secure permanent housing and find employment. There are many more programs in New Jersey and Delaware.
“There’s a dozen different organizations that at the grassroots level will then provide that transition — support for language classes, support for housing,” Delaware Sen. Chris Coons said.
Still, scholars point out many of the evacuees have a long road ahead of them.
“This is a very difficult time, not only for the United States but also for Afghans because they have no sense of what their immediate future actually looks like,” said Dr. Harry Rhea with Rutgers University-Camden.
The Coast Guard is accepting donations to assist refugees. Click here to see how you can help out.MORE NEWS: WATCH: Surveillance Video Catches Olney Drive-By Shooting That Killed 1, Injured 5
Officials urge people to not drop off donations at the airport for security reasons.